“THE UNKNOWN POWER OF A SIMPLE THANK YOU” (LUKE 17:11-17) Kenny Burtch
What is the value of a simple “Thank You?” How much “Power” does it have? I’m not sure I know the answer to that question, but for some reason Jesus upholds this Samaritan in the eyes of the Jews, because he took the time to say, “Thank You,” for what he had received. OUR OWN HISTORY RECORDS FOR US another great example of what a “Simple” Thank you can do. When John F. Kennedy was running for the Senate in 1952, his workers collected 262,324 nominating signatures from all over Massachusetts. It was the greatest number of nominating signatures ever collected by a candidate for an elective office in that State. Only 2,500 were required by law. That means his workers collected 259,824 more signatures that was needed or required.
David Powers, one of Kennedy’s campaign managers, suggested that a personal thank you letter be sent to everyone who has signed his nominating papers. Kennedy was not sure that was a good idea. “It would cost a lot of money,” was his answer. Finally, with much persuasion, David Powers convinced John Kennedy that it was the thing to do. One evening when he was in Charlestown, Massachusetts, with David Powers, they stopped to visit a neighborhood restaurant. A Longshoreman, sitting at a nearby table, recognized Kennedy. He went over to his table, shook Kennedy's hand, and pulled from his pocket a letter that he had received containing a personal thank you from this young politician. History has recorded his words for us. He said, “I’ve been signing nominating papers for politicians around here for 20 years. You’re the first guy who ever wrote me a letter thanking me for it.” Later that night Kennedy said to David Powers, Dave, maybe you had better keep on sending out those thank you letters.” In that year, 1952 there was a Nation-wide Republican landslide. Everybody “Liked Ike,” and his people. But in the midst of that Republican landslide a young Democrat from Massachusetts upset Henry Cabot Lodge by 70,000 votes for the U.S Senate.
I don’t know the “Power” that a simple “Thank You,” has. I know that it can work in Politics, and I know that Jesus appreciated it when that Samaritan came back to thank Him. So, here’s a suggestion: Perhaps in the midst of our busy technological world, a return to the basics may be good for each of us. It may help us in our daily working with others, if we would just remember that it costs nothing, and is very simple, to say,”Thank You.”
But, perhaps someone is not feeling particularly blessed right now. And because of that this question is being asked: “What do I have to be thankful for?” Well, the “Good News,” is that everyone does have something to be thankful for. You can be Thankful for the greatest blessing ever bestowed upon man. If you are not a Christian today you can be “Thankful” that God has given you another day to make that decision. He has given you another opportunity to respond to His message of Salvation. If you are a Christian today, but feel you have nothing, or very little to be “Thankful” for, I want to remind you of (4) reasons you have yo be “Thankful.”
(1). AS A CHRISTIAN, YOU HAVE THE CONTINUAL GIFT OF FORGIVENESS.
Isn’t it a wonderful gift that God gives His children that allows us to start all over again! We can begin again with God when we, as a humble child, repent and ask for our Father’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Isn’t it a wonderful blessing to know that His forgiveness is always there when we slip up? We are not lost in the despair that says, “God has given up on me.” We can be “Excited,” about tomorrow, next week, and next month, because we have the continual gift of our Father’s forgiveness.
(2). AS A CHRISTIAN, YOU HAVE A HEAVENLY FATHER.
We have a Father that cares about us, and our needs! Some of you have had earthly fathers that cared about you, and tried to make sure you did the right things in life. However, some of us have never had a father who raised them, or cared about them. But this CANNOT BE SAID ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN! (Hebrews 12:9,10).
(3). AS A CHRISTIAN, YOU HAVE A SPIRITUAL FAMILY.
(1 Timothy 5:1,2)”Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, the younger a sisters with all purity.” The Church is a family! No matter what my physical family does, or says, I still have a family. You are with a people who care about you as a person. We might be strangers to this world, but we are family to each other. As a Christian you have a wonderful family to be thankful for.
(4). AS A CHRISTIAN, YOU HAVE A RESERVATION IN HEAVEN.
(1 Peter 1:3,4) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an INHERITANCE incorruptible and undefiled that does not fade away RESERVED IN HEAVEN FOR YOU.”
Have we thanked God for all His wonderful blessings. You see, that is the real question. The question is not, “What do I have to be thankful for? The question is have I thanked God for all His wonderful blessings? Have I taken time to “Count those many blessings.” That may be some of the problem. Maybe there has not been a time when i have sat down and thought about the blessings i have received. Perhaps our mind is too focused on the physical, instead of the spiritual. There can be a multitude of reasons for thinking we have nothing to be thankful for. Being thankful is a very important part of the Christian life. And letting our Heavenly Father know that we are thankful will make Him proud to call us His children.